Compare and Contrast Histrionic and Narcissistic Personality Disorder
However, it’s possible to have both conditions, or any combination of personality disorders, and this may sometimes complicate diagnosis.
There are 10 specific types of personality disorders. Personality disorders are long-term patterns of behavior and inner experiences that differs significantly from what is expected. The pattern of experience and behavior begins by late adolescence or early adulthood and causes distress or problems in functioning. Without treatment, personality disorders can be long-lasting. Diagnosis of a personality disorder requires a mental health professional looking at long-term patterns of functioning and symptoms. Diagnosis is typically made in individuals 18 or older. People under 18 are typically not diagnosed with personality disorders because their personalities are still developing. Some people with personality disorders may not recognize a problem. Also, people may have more than one personality disorder. An estimated 9 percent of U.S. adults have at least one personality disorder. Certain types of psychotherapy are effective for treating personality disorders. During psychotherapy, an individual can gain insight and knowledge about the disorder and what is contributing to symptoms, and can talk about thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Psychotherapy can help a person understand the effects of their behavior on others and learn to manage or cope with symptoms and to reduce behaviors causing problems with functioning and relationships. The type of treatment will depend on the specific personality disorder, how severe it is, and the individual’s circumstances. There are no medications specifically to treat personality disorders. However, medication, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication or mood stabilizing medication, may be helpful in treating some symptoms. More severe or long lasting symptoms may require a team approach involving a primary care doctor, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, social worker and family members.
Many therapists have advocated for ongoing therapy for patients with an established diagnosis of NPD. NPD may significantly reduce emergency department visits and lower the incidence of self-harm. Of note, studies are more focused on borderline personality disorder; however, borderline personality disorder's findings may be generalizable to other disorders as well. Transference focused therapy is structured twice a week psychoanalytic therapy that focuses on personal expression of emotions toward a therapist. Given that persons with NPD can often be provoked by their perception of being treated by another, their own emotions towards other people are essential. Schema focused therapy is relatively new and focuses on alternate forms of cognitive-behavioral therapy, including activating emotional senses. There are no FDA approved medications for the treatment of NPD, but many patients may benefit from treatment of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, mood lability, transient psychosis, and impulse control issues. Antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, have been used (Kernberg OF., 2014).
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